Alta Organic Coffee & Tea Company has been a pioneer in sourcing pesticide-free coffee for over 25 years. We are dedicated to the ethical and sustainable production, and consumption of coffee. Alta Organic roasts only the finest-organic, Arabica beans from coffee farms located throughout Central and South America, Indonesia, and Africa. Alta Organic is also a distributor for Choice Organic Teas.
During our early days, Founder Patti Spooner travelled to Central America, and visited both modernized coffee farms and traditional farms. She visited cooperatives and plantations in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica to learn more about “full-sun” and “shade-grown” coffee processes. The distinctions Patti discovered were profound, and the importance of shade-grown coffee and sustainable farming methods was revealed to her first hand.
Modernized coffee farms increase production by growing hybridized plants in direct sunlight, or full-sun, through the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This approach to coffee production results in deforestation, severe soil erosion, contaminated water reservoirs, and the destruction of bird and insect habitats.
In contrast, traditional, shade-grown coffee shrubs are grown beneath a canopy of native forest trees, which filter carbon dioxide and aid in soil moisture retention. Organic farming methods promote healthy ecosystems, while safeguarding the health of farmers and their families.
What modernized coffee practices saw as an inconvenience, we understood to be essential for producer communities. Organic farming is a ray of hope, because sustainable agriculture provides greater biodiversity which helps stabilize the Earth’s climate by protecting its soil and water systems.
After our travels, Alta Organic vowed to only support sustainable farming practices, and we believe it is our duty to help resonate these values with others. The Earth’s future depends on producers and consumers who are conscious about the ethical, and sustainable quality of the foods they purchase and feed their families. Alta Organic Coffee & Tea Company is committed to the environmental, and social health of our producer and consumer communities.
Patti Spooner, owner of Alta Organic Coffee & Tea Co.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The name “Alta” came from a woman Patti has always admired and viewed as a hero, her mother Alta. In Spanish Alta means “high” which refers to the high altitudes where our organic shade grown beans are cultivated.
Alta Organic was part of the beginning of the “Coffee House” wave, and so was Patti. Patti Spooner, known not just for her amazing organic coffee and tea, but also as a businesswoman with cutting edge ideas who never settles for less than sustainable and local.
Prior to owning Alta Organic Coffee & Tea Company in Davenport, CA, Patti was the original owner of Alta Coffee Warehouse and Roasting Company in Newport Beach, CA. She and her partner Tony Wilson started roasting coffee in 1984, beginning as a wholesale business and by popular demand became a cafe It was the second coffeehouse to open in the Southern California area at the time. They offered fresh scones, homemade muffins and granola. They were pioneers in establishing their own green waste and recycling programs. There was even a “bring your own ceramic mug” policy that discounted $.25 off coffee purchases.
After 12 years, she and her partner sold the cafe and Patti moved to Davenport, CA, with her two sons Max and Mike. It has been 17 years now since the family of Spooners first began their coffee roasting business in Davenport, CA.
In October of 2014, Alta Coffee moved into Santa Cruz after outgrowing their shop in Davenport. Alta continues to focus on the importance of organic farming and it's importance to the health of our planet.